16 Spectacular Events to Attend This January 2016

City Guide, Event


Written by Emily Morrow

Published on January 7, 2016
Lumagination event

Lumagination / Step Out Buffalo

Things to do in January 2016

The winter weather may be here and the hectic holiday over, but the festivities aren’t slowing down by any means. Frankly, we’re impressed with the party throwing skills Buffalo’s got going on this January, and we think you need to know about ’em. Here are sixteen (count them sixteen) pretty awesome things to do this month including alcohol (and lots of it), food (obv), winter celebrations (extra points for embracing the chill) and plenty more to keep you loving WNY straight through to February!

The Frozen Pub Crawl 1/9, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30

Canalside, Buffalo
Every Saturday in January, hop on a Frozen Pub Crawl led by Buffalo History Tours. Get answers to questions like “How did Buffalonians survive during winters past?” and “What happened when Buffalo’s main artery—the Erie Canal—froze over for three months a year?” The 90 minute pub crawl starts in Canalside and features just 20 minutes where you’re actually outside most likely freezing your a** off. The rest takes place at two pubs where you’ll enjoy drink specials and historic narration, and a brewery tour at Pearl Street Grill.  Tickets are $10 per person. Cheers!
Continue the party at Swannie House and LagerHaus 95 or Lockhouse Distillery & Bar in the Cobblestone District.
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Buffalo Beer Week, Step Out Buffalo

Buffalo on Tap 1/15 – 1/16

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, Buffalo
One of the largest festivals of it’s kind, Buffalo on Tap is bringing over 150 releases from some of America’s best craft breweries for a weekend full of brews and fun. The party (read: festival) starts Friday the 15th and continues for two sessions on Saturday the 16th. Can you think of a better way to warm up? Didn’t think so. Standard tickets are $35.
Head to The Lodge or the new Frankie Primo’s  +39 nearby for lunch or Osteria 166 for dinner.
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Niagara Ice Wine Fest 1/15 – 1/31

Niagara Falls, Canada
For these three weekends in January, hit the Niagara Region for a winter wonderland event celebrating Ontario Icewine! “From Gala evening toasts to chestnut roasts, ornate ice bars, ice skating and winery tours, the 21st Annual Niagara Icewine Festival offers plenty for every taste.” The Discovery Pass for this event is $40.
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Ice skating at Canalside

The Ice at Canalside / Step Out Buffalo

Chillibration at Canalside 1/15 – 1/18

Canalside, Buffalo
Last year it was HARBORCENTER Winterfest, this year it’s Chillibration, a 4-day festival to celebrate winter on the waterfront. This uber-family friendly event will include ice skatine, ice biking, curling, a theme skate, vendor market, live music, food and drink and much more! Check out the full list of activities and events here. This event is free to attend. Some activities will cost money.
While you’re downtown stop by Ballyhoo (lunch, dinner, drinks) for a fun quick bite or the brand new William K’s (dinner only, kids welcome) on the waterfront.
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Jerry Seinfeld 1/22

Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo
If this winter weather is already starting to get the best of you (no judgement here), Seinfeld is your perfect mid-polar vortex pick-me-up. Sit back, relax, and actually smile for once since NYE.
We recommend dinner at Oshun or Big Ditch Brewing before or after!
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Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo 1/22 – 1/24

The Conference and Event Center, Niagara Falls
Call your outdoorsy friends and head to NF for an “event where attendees can spend all 3 days at versus the normal couple hour walkthrough”. These guys will have exhibitors, seminars, speakers, kid friendly activities, and more! Tickets are $8-$16.
Continue the fun with lunch or dinner down the road at Griffon Gastropub where they have TONS of beer on tap.
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Photo from Nia

Photo from

Niagara University Short Play Festival 1/22 – 1/24

Leary Theatre at Niagara University, Lewiston
Comedies, dramas, and everything in between, Niagara University is calling this a “smorgasbord of ten-minute plays”, which we think is pretty cool.  The way they see it, if you’re not into one, you only have to wait ten minutes until the next. There are three different dates for this “festival” and two different cycles. Tickets are $10 – $15.
Make a night of it by getting dinner reservations at Carmelo’s in Lewiston!
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Explore Buffalo’s Winter Celebration 1/23

Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo
This evening is all about celebrating the success of Explore Buffalo in 2015 and looking ahead to what the future holds for this local tour company. Attendees will have the opportunity to get an exclusive backstage tour of Shea’s Theater, hear music by the Ladies First Jazz Band from the historic Colored Musicians Club, enjoy beer, wine, and a selection of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, take part in a silent auction and raffle of unique Buffalo items and experiences, and vote on possible new tour ideas for the 2016 tour season! And if that’s not awesome, we don’t know what is. Tickets are $50.
Stop for drinks before or after at Buffalo Proper or Marble + Rye.
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Winterfest at Chestnut Ridge 1/24

Chestnut Ridge, Orchard Park
If you have kids of any ages, this is a Winter Festival not to be missed! From 11am – 4 pm on Sunday January 24th Winterfest will feature free (yea, free) family activities like sledding, snowshoe hikes, marshmallow roasting, arts and crafts, snow sculpturing, hay rides, wood branding and more. We recommend penciling this family fun day whether you live in the southtowns, northtowns, or downtown. The event will be held with or without snow and is free.
Warm up with lunch nearby at The Byrd House in Orchard Park, Elm Street Bakery in East Aurora, or Armor Inn Tap Room in Hamburg or have dinner afterwards down the street at the new OP Social.
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Pig Roast at The Lodge

Photos courtesy of The Lodge

Pig Roast Dinner at The Lodge 1/25

The Lodge Bar + Grill, Buffalo
This Pig Roast themed dinner experience is the perfect way to get on your New Year’s resolution of trying new things, eating out and different places, and having awesome experiences in your hometown. The event will include drink samples, a signature drink from The Lodge’s bar, tons of food, dessert and great company. This is not a sit down (read: stuffy) dinner. You’ll mingle and have a ball while you eat and drink away the best Monday night of the winter. We may be a bit biased because we’re co-hosting the event with The Lodge, but we can also pretty much guarantee you’ll have an amazing time. Tickets are $60.
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Pippin 1/26 – 1/31

Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo
For less than a week Pippin is showing at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. “Broadway’s high-flying, death-defying hit musical” is “full of extraordinary acrobatics, wondrous magical feats and soaring songs from the composer of Wicked”. The production is the winner of four 2013 Tony Awards® and follows a young man’s journey to be extraordinary. Gotta love a feel good theater performance in the dead of winter. The recommended age for this show is 8+, so feel free to bring the whole family! Tickets are $27 – $57.
We recommend dinner at Toutant or Dinosaur BBQ (both great for families) beforehand!

Lumagination event

Lumagination / Step Out Buffalo

Lumagination 1/27 – 2/20

Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, Lackawanna
Back again this year from Wednesday to Saturday, January 27th – February 20th is the magical light display Lumagination at Buffalo’s own Botanical Gardens. This is a great inexpensive adventure for the whole family or perhaps a romantic evening stroll for two. While our experience with Lumagination last year was less interactive than we’d expected, it was still interesting to experience the space at night and illuminated with colorful designs, especially if you’re a fan of the Gardens in the first place. Tickets are just $12 for adults and $5 for kids ages 3-12 (2 and under are free) and can be purchased ahead of time or at the door.
Head to dinner at the Mess Hall or Winfield’s Pub nearby before or after your visit for some fantastic food. Kids welcome at both!
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Larkinville Ice Festival 1/30

Larkin Square, Buffalo
In a strong effort to keep Buffalo busy and making the most of our awesome new public spaces year round, the group behind Larkinville is throwing an Ice Fest from 11am – 3pm on Saturday, January 30th. Expect lots of family fun, live music, food and drink, culture, exercise (wait, whattt?) and more. This neighborhood-wide celebration will feature festivities at not only Larkin Square but also The Filling Station, Hydraulic Hearth, Flying Bison Brewery, Larkin Center of Commerce, and Army-Navy Outfitters. Did we mention there will be booze?
There’s no better place to get your fill on a wintery Saturday morning than the Bagels and Brooze Brunch Collaboration between Breadhive and Hydraulic Hearth (at HH).

Snow Roll 1/30

Flying Bison Brewery, Buffalo
You may have heard of “Slow Roll Buffalo”, but have you heard of “Snow Roll Buffalo”? The fun folks at Slow Roll have decided to keep the festivities rolling (see what we did there?) through the cold winter months, and we’re so glad they did. January 30th (during the Larkinville Ice Festival) will mark the second ever Snow Roll Buffalo – possibly the first with snow on the ground (ahhhh December 2015). Brush off your bike and head to Flying Bison where the all ages, community bike ride will commence at 12:30 pm. Don’t forget to bring winter clothes for the Winter Clothing Donation Drive!
Fuel up at Hydraulic Hearth’s brunch beforehand or Gene McCarthy’s for a sandwich down the street in the OFW.

Niagara Wine & Beer Tasting Festival 1/30

Kenan Center Arena, Lockport
In addition to more than 30 wineries, breweries, food vendors and specialty food exhibitors this event will feature live music with the Stoll Brothers, a basket raffle, and 50/50 split. Admission includes a souvenir tasting glass, tasting journal, and a $5 food voucher that can be used in the on-site food court. Tickets are $25 and Designated Driver tickets are available.
Check out the brand new New York Beer Project while you’re in town!

Soup-fest / Photo from Facebook

Soup-fest / Photo from Facebook

Buffalo Soup-Fest 1/31

Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, Buffalo
One of the most exciting/unique/get me out of my house into some place warm events held all winter is the Buffalo Soup-Fest. These guys bring together local restaurants that make exceptional soup and allow you to taste, compare, and vote on your favorites. Did we mention this will be the dead of winter? So just put it on your calendar now. Admission to the event is $5 (get tickets at the door) and soups are purchased inside the event with “Soup Bucks” which are $1 each. Soups cost generally around 3 or 4 soup bucks.
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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Emily Morrow</a>

Written by Emily Morrow

Emily is co-founder and Director of Storytelling at Step Out Buffalo. Her favorite things to do are eat, travel, and think up business ideas. Emily is originally from Hamburg, NY and her out of town friends will tell you that she loves to talk about Buffalo any chance she gets.
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